How to Conduct Better Research to Improve User Experience?

By Sara Mehdi on 28th September, 2021
If we had only one factor to decide whether a mobile application is going to be a success or not, it would be the user experience. To be perfectly honest, for any application, the experience is all that matters to the target user, which is why it’s absolutely incumbent for any developer to understand the importance and value of UX. Why? Your app can have great functionality but if you are unable to focus on the design aspect of it, and the overall user experience, there is a strong chance that the app is not going to be successful.
How will you make an app successful, in the first place? It is a great idea to have the right balance between features and the UI/UX of an application to make it successful. Still not clear on how important UI/UX is? Let’s elaborate a little.
A Good User Experience Helps Captivates Users
We have all heard the saying, ‘first impression is the last impression’. This philosophy can be applied to mobile applications as well. When a user opens an application, you have only a few seconds to make that impression.
It’s a make-or-break moment.
But why will the user decide to stay on your application? Only if your design is compelling and entices them enough to stay a bit longer. On the other hand, if it is difficult to navigate through your application, the user’s experience will be ruined and they will immediately leave.
A Good User Experience Helps to Improve ROI
The amount of revenue any application makes is dependent on how satisfied users are with the services an app has to offer. And how do you make the users satisfied? By giving them a great experience, which depends on the UI/UX of your application.
The more satisfied your users are, the more likely they are to stay and make more purchases and thus increase your revenue. These users are even likely to recommend your application to other users.
A Good User Experience Helps Save Time and Cost
As an app developer, the more work you put into designing the UI/UX of your application, the less likely your users are to have any problem. Overall, the work you put in at the start will provide your users with a flawless experience. And if you have put in the work at the beginning, it will mean less work figuring out what went wrong and also reduce any re-work cost that may come at a later stage.
A Good User Experience Helps the App to be Featured
How do you know if an app is good or not? This is determined by how many users like and use an app. The more users like an app, the more likely the app is to be featured on the app stores. So, if your users are satisfied with your UI/UX, the more likely they are to leave a good review and ‘like’ the app.
This can have a great impact on the popularity of your application and also increase the chances of being featured. Additionally, if your app is being pushed by the app store itself, more users are going to download it and thus start the snowball effect.
Here, the question arises… how can you improve your UI/UX? This process requires research. However, you have to get this right. Otherwise, you may end up causing more harm than good. So, what type of research can you do?
There are several types of research that you can do. However, no matter the type of research that is conducted, it is divided into two main categories.
  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Analysis
Following are some testing types that can be used to aid in the research, which can also yield great results.
Usability Testing
In this type of testing, the developer selects a group of users right before launch of the app. The group of users have easy access to the prototype, which enables them to provide valuable feedback on the performance and usability of the app. Usability testing ensures that developers can get feedback on how to improve the app, directly from the target users.
A/B Testing
Let us suppose, you have built two great interfaces but are not sure which one works best. In this case, you let a selected group of users access your prototype. However, one half of the group sees one interface and the other half can access the second interface. The users then decide which interface is the best.
Conduct a Survey
When you’re at the initial stages of development, you conduct research by performing a survey. This survey will ask the group to fill out and answer questions about the kind of UI/UX they would like to have.
Behavior Analysis
In this type of research, you track the user behavior and patterns and how they are interacting with your application. Commonly, behavior analysis is done alongside a survey, to get an understanding of why the users are interacting with an application in a certain way. There could be a variety of reasons for it. It’s your job to leverage that data.
This type of research can also help you determine user paths for different use cases of the application. But how do you make sure that the research you’re doing is effective for you?
There are several things you can do:
1. Ensure You Collect Actionable Insight
You can conduct any type of research. But in order for this research to be fruitful, you need to understand the actionable part of the entire exercise.
  • Do you have the budget to take the data from the research and act on it? If you don’t, you need to make sure that you’re able to make the funds available.
  • Does your research suggest the core features that your users need are lacking in some way?
  • Are you taking enough action to make sure that your research has the maximum effect?
2. Your Research Should Focus on Making the Gap to The User Smaller
No matter the type of research you do, the focus should always be on the end user. So, as part of your data collection, as many people as necessary can be included. Gather information and then act on it. Your research must collect what the user likes, what their preferences are and what their natural path or flow through the app is.
3. Being Risk Ready and Admit That Things Can Go Wrong
No matter the type of research you are doing, you should determine whether you’re asking the right questions or not. And whether or not these questions will be answered by the research method you’ve chosen.
You should also understand that having more samples to collect is always a good idea as there can be samples that are not sufficient or some of them may be false. Plan out the research process but always anticipate that things can go wrong and you should have a backup plan for it.
4. Do Your Research with the Audience in Mind
When you’re conducting research, you should form your questions keeping the audience in mind. Your questions should always be presented in a way that they can fit into a normal conversation. What does this mean?
You should refrain from using technical language. Similarly, you should consider that not all users are the same. So, their understanding of the whole process can be different but as part of your research, you should anticipate this and be ready to leverage the information that is being filled out.
5. Track the Core Questions
As you’re conducting research, it’s always a good idea to group your questions under a theme. This will help you address multiple problems with lesser actions.
However, this does not mean that you should focus only on the qualitative aspect. The research conducted should only be carried out once you understand what answers you’re looking for. It does not matter if quantitative or qualitative methods are chosen as long as the core questions are being answered.
Wrapping Things Up
Users don’t want to jump from one app to the other, instead they want to find one that fits them and their needs. Apps that are able to give value and importance to this fact can achieve great success. Conducting user experience research is just one way to make sure that you’re able to cater to the end user.
A good user experience can be of great value as it helps give the users a feeling of comfort; it will always trump over, even if your app lacks some of the features. Successful apps always keep the end user in mind and that is the reason for their success.
If you need assistance in testing out some of the features of your app or are unsure about an existing app’s performance, consult Alfabolt today.